JMARIES51's SparkPeople Blog JMARIES51's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 60 - create a stop sign <img src=""> <BR> Today's exercise is to create an instant response plan that you can utitize without thinking when facing a time when you want to eat (and aren't hungry). <BR> This is really a good idea and I have used it many times when I knew I was just having a craving and didn't really need to eat anything. Depending on where I am and how much time I have these are my favorite go to instant responses. <BR> <img src="http://photos-a... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 14:53:10 EST Day 59 Heart Hunger "Insteads" Today's exercise is to come up with some good ways to feed the emotions of your heart instead of using food. My favorite "instead" are: <BR> <BR> 1. Meditation <BR> 2. Take a long bath, lighting a candle, using bubbles <BR> 3. Cleaning - ok, this is kind of crazy, I know, but it always makes me feel better <BR> 4. Gardening - even pulling weeds for a few minutes helps <BR> 5. Grooming my dogs, brushing them, cleaning their ears, clipping nails <BR> 6. Dancing around the house to my favorit... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:48:55 EST Day 58 Heart Hunger Thank goodness I don't really think I have any heart hunger. Today's exercise is about the type of foods that you reach for when you are feeling depressed, lonely, wishing for a new relationship, etc. <BR> <BR> I guess for me the times that would qualify for this type of heart hunger might be when something is going on with my kids that I don't have any control over. I used to feed these emotions a lot in the past but thankfully I have learned that they have to have their own challenge... Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:26:21 EST Day 57 Head Hunger "Insteads" Today's exercise is to make a go to list of things to do instead of eating. <BR> My list is: <BR> 1. Blog or read blogs here on Spark <BR> 2. Answer emails <BR> 3. Go for a walk <BR> 4. Jump on my exercise ball for a few minutes <BR> 5. Drink a nice cold glass of water <BR> 6. Meditate for 10 minutes <BR> 7. Read or Write <BR> 8. Call a friend <BR> 9. Brush the dogs, clean their ears, brush their teeth <BR> 10. Answer emails <BR> 11. Watch some inspirational videos on YouTube <BR>... Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:40:57 EST Day 56 - Head Hunger <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> These are my foods that call my name when I am probably not hungry but want to feed my emotions. They range from crunchy to creamy to crunchy creamy. The situations that might cause me to start craving these foods usually are something stressful. It could be having to fill out forms, ... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 18:07:16 EST Day 55 - Food is the Consolation Prize Today's exercise is about using food as a consolation prize for really letting you feel the feelings that you are going through. <BR> <BR> My most recent bout of overeating was triggered by my brother's death 2 weeks ago. We weren't very close in age, nor were we emotionally close. But I think grieving is a very difficult emotion to understand. It isn't really that I needed someone to help me through it. It is kind of like facing my own mortality. Sometimes I think the only comfort th... Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:52:08 EST Day 54 Eating to Feel Better <img src=""> <BR> Sometimes I will just reach for food when really what I should be doing is drinking a nice glass of water, going for a walk, taking a nap, or just relaxing. When I do this kind of eating, it is usually junk food that I reach for. <BR> <BR> So today's exercise is to stop and analyze what is really going on when you feel like reaching for something to eat. It could be that you really are hungry. If that is true, then e... Sun, 19 Oct 2014 15:36:29 EST Day 53 Food is my best friend <img src=""> <img src="">In today's exercise we are to think about when we use food as a way to manage challenges and emotional situations. <BR> I used to use food a lot as a substitute for a friend. I had a very emotionally challenging 2nd marriage and it was during that time that I ate my way through all of the abuse. But I have been out of that marriage for 14 years. Since th... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 11:36:13 EST Day 52 - Food is an Instant Fix <img src=""> <BR> The exercise for today is to write down all the times in the day when you are likely to eat in order to avoid doing something else. Then record when you are tempted to grab food - then record your thoughts and experiences. <BR> <BR> The 2 times that I have identified as huge times when I grab food instead of doing what I should be doing is when I should be going to bed to sleep and when I want to be writing. I thoug... Fri, 17 Oct 2014 14:15:07 EST Day 51 - What Is Emotional Eating? <img src=""> <BR> I struggled this morning to find a good visual to post with this question. I think everybody has their own version of emotional eating, and it can be for all sorts of emotions from happy to sad and everywhere in between. <BR> <BR> In today's exercise Linda Spangle suggests making a sign that asks this question: <BR> "is this hunger or a desire to eat?" Then when you want to eat something you pull out the sign and ask... Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:01:22 EST Day 50- 10 minute solution Everyone on Spark probably understands the 10 minute solution. If you commit to doing something for just 10 minutes, chances are you will then either continue that activity or at least you can feel that you have completed your commitment for the day. <BR> <BR> What I love about the 10 minute solution is that it is easy to find 10 minutes in your day. Often I will get my 10 minutes of walking in while I am waiting for water to boil. Or I will bounce on my balance ball for 10 minutes whil... Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:58:12 EST Day 49 Just Do Something <img src=""> Today's exercise is to make a list of things that you want to do and then do them. If you do this over a few days you will start to have a positive outlook at completing tasks. After a few days you will gain inertia and get yourself out of a rut. <BR> <BR> This is a perfect exercise for me today. Just last night I was looking at my bedroom dresser and thinking I have to get this cleaned up. So that is my #1 thing on ... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:22:12 EST Day 48 - You Gotta Want to Today's exercise is about determining what it is I want, but often say I can't. Then go back and write the words, Of course I want to. <BR> <BR> I have chosen to do this exercise with something that doesn't involved weight loss and exercise. It is the writing my book goal. Of course I want to write my book, I have written it in my head a million times. Now to break this down into smaller goals. <BR> 1. Sit and write 1/2 hour everyday <BR> 2. Look at the chapters as I have outlined ... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 14:45:27 EST Day 47 Kick the can't <img src=""> <BR> Today's exercise is to write a list of things you think you can't do. My list would be things I can't do because I am too old, you know like I can't be an Olympic gymnast, or I can't be a fashion model. But I know that if I had started training at a young age, I may have been able to accomplish either of these. <BR> <BR> So I will dig deep for today and the best I can do is say - <BR> <BR> 1. I have never lost al... Fri, 10 Oct 2014 11:58:15 EST Day 46 - If not food, then what? My list of 10 - that is more important than food <BR> <BR> 1. My health <BR> 2. My family <BR> 3. My spiritual growth <BR> 4. My writing <BR> 5. My dogs <BR> 6. My physical abilities (exercise, feeling good in my body) <BR> 7. My personal growth (other than spiritual - just learning new things) <BR> 8. My artwork <BR> 9. My other forms of having fun (travel, reading, gardening) <BR> 10. My relationship with my community <BR> <BR> Now moving food to a position of 11 - I can now cho... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 15:21:02 EST Day 45 Food, Important or Not? For today's exercise Linda suggests that we make a list of occasions or times when food is important to us. Then for the rest of the time to view food as unimportant. The only problem I have with this is that for me choosing healthy food is always important. But for the sake of this exercise I think Linda is talking about putting some sort of "importance" on the food, such as a birthday, wedding, holidays, etc. <BR> <BR> I can totally understand the reasoning behind taking away some of ... Thu, 9 Oct 2014 01:09:41 EST Day 44 I'ts Not the Right Time Very strange that this is the lesson for today. Sometimes life just gets in the way of everything else (including diets and exercise). <BR> <BR> Yesterday my brother passed away. <img src=""> He has been sick for quite a few years and so his death was not a surprise. But still is is difficult to think of a world without him or my Mom and Dad in it. He was the oldest of us kids and now my sister and I are the only ones left from ou... Tue, 7 Oct 2014 15:55:02 EST Day 43 Choose to, not have to Today's exercise is about choosing words that support the changes that you are working on. When you change just a few words it changes the thoughts that you have around your changes. <BR> <BR> So when you say, I choose to exercise today instead of I have to exercise today, it puts the power of the choice in your hands. Suddenly you are the power behind the choices you make. This might not seem important, but from reading that I have done it makes a huge difference on how you view your l... Mon, 6 Oct 2014 13:05:38 EST Day 42 Make It Matter Today's exercise is to make a list of how being overweight bothers me and then rate it on a scale. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is a difficult exercise for me to do because it feels like a very negative thing to do. But because I trust the process I am going to reach back into my past and list what I had written before. <BR> <BR> 1. Overweight prevents me from moving my body the way I would like to. (7) <BR> 2. Overweight keeps me ... Sun, 5 Oct 2014 13:12:57 EST Day 41 Motivation Is a Choice <img src=""> <BR> Reaching Day 41 on the 100 days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle feels really good. The next few days will be about staying motivated and it has come at a perfect time. <BR> <BR> Do you ever find yourself saying, I just can't get myself motivated. I have to say that this felt like my mantra for the past couple of days. I had just had 7 days of walking over 10,000 steps and my body felt like I needed to take a day off ... Sat, 4 Oct 2014 14:25:38 EST Day 40 Having An Eating Experience <img src=""> Today's exercise is about planning an eating experience that meets your needs. <BR> I had picked out this recipe to try because of the pumpkin in it. I love pumpkin and usually fix it as a curry soup, so today I am excited to try something new and healthy. Lately I have been trying quite a few new recipes, trying to keep everything as fresh as possible and lower caloric content. I will let you know how it all turns out.... Fri, 3 Oct 2014 13:20:09 EST Day 39 Flavor or Texture <img src="">Today's lesson is about flavor vs. texture of the foods we love. I think I am in big trouble. <em>334</em> I love both the flavor and texture of foods. I think the only texture that I don't care for is slimy. This is probably why I don't care for seafood at all. I also don't like the taste of fishy, so that is very convenient that the texture and the taste of these foods go together. <BR> <BR> However, if I had to ch... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 15:23:11 EST Day 38 Food As Power Thinking back over the years as to when I have eaten food as power I would say that I have often used food as a way to conquer fears, a way to control - like when angry at someone I would grab some cookies and just eat away, and I am sure there are many other examples of using food as power. <BR> <BR> I know that when I was a child I was often given food to soothe. I can remember making myself a little goodie bag to eat after swim lessons or after ski lessons. It usually contained a lot of... Wed, 1 Oct 2014 13:38:35 EST Day 37 I love to eat! When reading today's lesson, I love to eat, I really had to think deep about what is it that I love about eating. Is it the taste, the texture, the colors, the smells? Is it the camaraderie of eating a meal with other people? It is the joy of creating something different by combining all sorts of flavors and spices? Is it enjoying having someone else make the food and then serving it to me? <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I guess I have to ... Tue, 30 Sep 2014 12:59:40 EST Day 36 Slow Down Your Eating <img src=""> <BR> Today's lesson from Linda Spangle's 100 Days of Weight Loss is about slowing down when we eat. She suggests setting a timer for 20 minutes and then eat your meal slowly enough to make it last the 20 minutes and the last bite will be eaten about the same time as the eating pause takes place (eating pause is from yesterday's lesson. <BR> <BR> I am doing this with my breakfast today and I choose to eat a piece of oat/nut ... Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:01:44 EST Day 35 The Eating Pause <img src="">Today's lesson is about the eating pause. Linda Spangle writes about a natural pause in your eating that occurs at the time when you just reach the point of full. If you are able to observe other people in a restaurant, you will see when they reach this point. They may put down their cutlery, look around at other people and appear that they are done eating. Often people will continue eating and then proclaim, "I shouldn't... Sun, 28 Sep 2014 13:43:39 EST Day 34 - Listen Accurately <img src=""> In today's exercise Linda suggests that a person will start to feel the signs of fullness if they quietly place their hands on their tummy and listen to how the stomach feels. I think you have to be really in tune with your body to feel these subtle signals. <BR> <BR> I have tried this exercise many times over the years and I think there are times when I can really start to recognize fullness signals. But for me I think it... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 13:47:26 EST Day 33 Fullness Scale Today's Exercise is about using a scale to determine how full you are as opposed to the scale that determines how hungry you are. <BR> <BR> Once again this is difficult for me to judge. It seems like I go from hungry to full without much thought of anything in between. Oh, I can tell when I feel stuffed. But for me there is a fine line between feeling too full and stuffed. <BR> <BR> So the exercise is to eat until you feel satisfied - or just neutral. Then take a look at how much food... Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:33:04 EST Day 32 The 5 hour Rule Today's lesson is about spacing meals apart by 3-5 hours. This is to add in conjunction with yesterday's lesson about eating according to the hunger scale. <BR> <BR> Imagine if you ate smaller meals but spaced them closer together, what do you think the results might be? Since I have retired I have been experimenting with this idea. Instead of thinking of meals as big plates full of food I have been thinking of my meals more as snacks that are spaced through out the day. The days that ... Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:40:59 EST Day 31 Hunger Scale <img src=""> <BR> The lesson of the hunger scale is one used by most weight loss theories. The idea is to eat within a certain amount of time when you start to feel hungry. <BR> <BR> I have a difficult time with recognizing hunger. For years I thought I was feeling hungry and then I found out that I was really having excess stomach acid. When I was prescribe prilosec, the feeling that I associated with hunger suddenly disappeared wi... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 11:24:18 EST Off for the Weekend <img src=""> <BR> So excited to be taking a long weekend in Vancouver, BC. I haven't been there for years and it is one of my favorite places in the world. <BR> <BR> I am taking my lessons with me and hopefully will not go <img src=""> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 10:27:41 EST Day 30 Postpone Eating Today's exercise is to postpone eating and also minimize amount. <BR> The way that I understand this idea is that when you feel a craving come one, try to postpone it by doing something else, drink some water, go for a walk, etc. This can sometimes help the craving to pass. <BR> <BR> The other part of the exercise is about postponing eating the bread or chips and salsa that come to the table before your meal to snack on before your meal arrives. If you can postpone eating these things an... Wed, 17 Sep 2014 12:48:28 EST Day 29 Handheld Foods <img src=""> <BR> OK, I think I should have just skipped over today's exercise. Well, at least I know the area that I need to really focus on. From now on I think I need to not eat handheld foods. <BR> The exercise was to measure out a snack item and put it on the plate - sit down and eat the item with a fork and spoon and notice how it feels to eat the snack this way. <BR> <BR> I chose peanut butter and crackers. I measure out 2 ... Tue, 16 Sep 2014 20:44:20 EST Day 28 Eating Because It's There I don't eat food because it's there. The is the exercise for today. It is about learning to ignore food that comes into your vicinity and then eating it just because it is visible. I think for me one of the times when this might happen is when an advertisement comes on the TV and it triggers a response of... Oh I would sure like a hamburger about now. <BR> <BR> This used to be a problem for me in my past. And I have learned to ignore ads on the TV. Mostly I just don't watch as much TV ... Mon, 15 Sep 2014 09:20:19 EST Day 27 Eat Dessert When it is Special <img src=""> This is an easy exercise for me. Write a list of desserts that are special to me, include a description of these desserts, and when I would eat them. <BR> <img src=""> This is my idea of a special dessert. It would include a cake with a smooth creamy filling and would be full of chocolate. I would like it to be not too sweet, and very fresh. The times I would eat ... Sun, 14 Sep 2014 13:57:16 EST Day 26 When Food Disappoints You Here is another lesson and exercise that was very profound for me the first time I did it. I could never imagine a chocolate cake that I didn't like. Now anytime I come across a food that is really not that tasty, I still think about whether it is worth the calories or not. I think now days I have a lot more discernment about what I really want to eat. This doesn't mean that it isn't a struggle. It is just a lot less of a struggle than it was in the past. If - say for instance- a crack... Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:46:14 EST Day 25 Eat Smaller Amounts, less often I remember the first time I went through the 100 days and came across this idea of eat smaller amounts less often. What the plan is - is to include the foods you love into your eating plan, but just eat a smaller amount of it and not very often. <BR> <BR> My immediate reaction was - this will never work for me. I even felt that way this morning when I saw this exercise pop up. However, I am committed to enjoying this 100 days and view it as fun and not deprivation. So I got to thinking... Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:12:57 EST Day 24 Eating for Satisfaction <img src=""> <BR> So today's exercise is to eat one thing today with the intention of being totally fulfilled by this food. <BR> I am really careful to choose filling and fulfilling foods for breakfast. I always want to start my day with a meal that is going to be both nutritionally and emotionally satisfying. <BR> For breakfast today I had a piece of whole wheat bread, low fat Greek yogurt, 1/4 avocado, and a tomato. I cut this into ... Thu, 11 Sep 2014 15:41:17 EST Day 23 Savoring My exercise for today was to savor a bite of something that I am eating. The suggestion is to eat chocolate, but I don't have any in the house and I don't want to buy any, so I am going to use a small slice of bread with jam. <BR> <BR> I love the yeasty smell of the bread and the contrast of the sweetness of the strawberry jam. It reminds me of the fair scones that I love so much. The texture of the bread is a little tough, not soft - but a chewy French bread. It is something that I coul... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 17:18:47 EST Day 22 Multitask With Food <img src=""> <BR> I knew that today's exercise would be easy because this is how I live my life. Generally I do not sit at the table and just eat my meal in silence. <BR> <BR> So the exercise is to eat my meal and with lots of distractions and to observe. I ate my breakfast with the news on the TV, while reading my email and carrying on a conversation with my honey. I know that I ate a piece of toast with jam, yogurt, and drank a c... Tue, 9 Sep 2014 12:43:42 EST Day 21 - Eat With Awareness <img src=""> <BR> Today's exercise is one that I know I need more practice with. It is to sit down at the table, eat a meal without distractions, and then observe. <BR> <BR> So in the tradition of making this exercise fun and enjoyable, I made a beautiful Israeli salad full of my favorite veggies. I set the table with a nice place mat, filled a tall glass with water, and included a half a pita and some tahini with the meal. This is my... Mon, 8 Sep 2014 15:59:41 EST Taking a Day of Rest Today <img src=""> <BR> How does a person who is retired and on their own schedule take a day of relaxation? I started thinking about how funny that sounds. Lately all I pretty much do is whatever I want to do. <BR> <BR> I guess what I mean is that I am not going to clean the house, cook any big meals, take a day off from the 100 days of weight loss blogging, and I will probably just read all day long. <BR> <BR> Hope you all have a wo... Sun, 7 Sep 2014 11:45:46 EST Day 20 - Half-off Special <img src=""> For today's exercise I am to divide at least 5 foods in half and eat only half, then describe in my journal how I feel about this. This is a great exercise for me because just like the exercise of taking a bite of something and leaving the rest, it is difficult for me to eat less than I am planning on. <BR> <BR> The one positive thing from doing this exercise in the past is that I learned that when I do go out to eat in ... Sat, 6 Sep 2014 11:32:20 EST Day 19 Eat Reasonable Amounts <img src=""> <BR> Portion distortion is my biggest downfall. If I don't measure and weigh out my foods I will gradually let the portions grow in size. <BR> <BR> On the other hand, when I am being very conscientious about my food intake and don't measure, I will under estimate the amount I am allowed. So for me it just works better to constantly be measuring. I am sure one day I will be able to closely get the right portion size with... Fri, 5 Sep 2014 12:31:23 EST Day 18 - Retrain Eating Habits <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> As I am working through these exercises from 100 days of weight loss, I can't get over how much work I have done on my eating habits. This exercise of retrain your eating habits showed me that things that I struggled with a few years ago are really not a struggle anymore. <BR> <BR> So I got to thinking about why have I not lost all the weight that ... Thu, 4 Sep 2014 11:34:35 EST Day 17 Stop Wasting Food <img src=""> This is a huge topic for me. My parents never talked about the starving children in other countries, but they were children of the depression and they never wasted anything. So wasting food is a huge issue for me. It wasn't until I read Linda's book the first time that I realized that eating the food is also wasting it, but in a way that is detrimental for my own health. <BR> <img src=" Wed, 3 Sep 2014 13:44:07 EST Day 16 Nurturing Power of Food <img src=""> <BR> For today's exercise I chose cheese and crackers. After 2 bites I am to remember that my needs have been met and to write about this experience. <BR> <BR> Since yesterday's experience was so positive, I went into today's exercise with the same amount of enthusiasm. I really want to know that these first 2 bites are all I need especially for the emotional experience of the food. <BR> <BR> What I am noticing today is... Tue, 2 Sep 2014 12:24:03 EST Day 15 Eat 2 Bites <img src=""> The first time that I attempted the eat 2 bites exercise, I was very resistant. I had set in my mind the thought that I could not eat only 2 bites and then throw the food away. <BR> <BR> That was many years ago, and I can thankfully say that now days I am able to take 2 bites and be satisfied with it. I have given up the struggle to fee like food is the enemy. That doesn't mean that I never have times of out of contr... Mon, 1 Sep 2014 14:24:35 EST Day 14 Morning Affects Evening A few years ago I realized that I have to eat a good breakfast with lots of protein in order to not be ravenously hungry in the afternoon. It also seems to stop the cravings that I get after dinner. What I try to do now days is to find ways to get protein that is both filling and not too high in calories. Greek yogurt is a huge mainstay for me. Also I like to have Greek yogurt cheese which is kind of like a cream cheese consistency but made from Greek yogurt. <BR> <BR> In the afternoon... Sun, 31 Aug 2014 16:53:55 EST Day 13, oops I forgot to eat <img src="">This used to be my life just a few months ago. Wow, just looking at the picture brings back that feeling of stress. <BR> So today is about taking time to eat on regular intervals. Since I have retired this is not a problem. The only time I have forgotten to eat was when I was enjoying my painting so much that time just flew by and I hadn't noticed I didn't eat. <BR> <BR> Now my life is <img src="http://photos-ak.spar... Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:43:40 EST